Barn Owl in West Michigan?

21 May

Today I got a phone call saying that someone had a Barn Owl who was injured. I told them to bring him on in, but fully doubted that it was going to be a Barn Owl that actually walked through our doors. Though I have only been at Blandford for a couple of years, my colleague has been here ten years and never had a Barn Owl come in. Barn Owls are a very rare sight in Michigan and are listed on the endangered species list. They often nest in tree cavities, abandoned buildings, and barns from which it gets its name. They feed on small vertebrates, such as mice and voles and occupy areas of open farmland and grassland. Part of the threat to Barn Owls, besides habitat loss, are pesticides used on crops. Small mammals will ingest the pesticides and in turn poison the owl when he captures his prey.

Sure enough it was a Barn Owl! The poor guy was found in Coopersville in someone’s barn down on the ground. Due to his small size we believe he is a male. We took him to the vet and he is currently receiving fluids via IV and warming up in their incubator. It is possible this is pesticide poisoning, though we are not fully certain at this time. We will be doing all that we can in hopes to re-release him back out into the wild!

The Barn Owl before his trip to the vet. He is severally dehydrated.

With our Adopt a Rehab Animal program you are able to contribute to his journey back into the wild. For more information please email Sam@blandfordnaturecenter.org or call 616-735-6240 ext 15

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4 Responses to “Barn Owl in West Michigan?”

  1. Doris May 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    It will be so exciting to have a Barn Owl at blandford again. Hooping that he does well.

  2. Finn Holding May 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Good luck to you and Barny. I love barn owls, they’re an iconic species here in the UK and watching one quarter a meadow on the hunt for voles is a wonderful sight. Fingers crossed he makes it back to the wild.

  3. James Brown Photography May 26, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Do barn owls live in Alabama? I would love to see one!

    • BNC Wildlife Rehab May 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      I believe that just like here in Michigan, Barn Owls in Alabama are a rare sight.

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